The Packard Campus Theater programs events year round, usually on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The State Theatre in Culpeper, VA, in collaboration with the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, offers additional film screenings, regularly programmed on Sunday afternoons with occasional showings on other days as well.
The schedule for each month is posted approximately two weeks in advance. Short subjects are presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice.
In case of inclement weather, for screenings at the Packard Campus Theater, check the information line at (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 no sooner than three hours before show time to see if the movie has been cancelled. For screenings at the State Theatre, call their box office at 540-829-0292.
For more information about how to attend, go to the “About the Theater” link at the top of this page.
Request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov
Thursday, Nov. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
A NIGHT OF ELECTRIC BLUES: GREAT BLUES PERFORMANCES ON TV (1955-1989)
Selected from the Library’s video collections and digitally restored by Video Preservation Specialists at the Packard Campus, this memorable evening features legendary blues artists in rare performances, most of which have not been seen since their original airings. Included on the program are Bo Diddley on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Big Mama Thornton on the BBC, The Rolling Stones on “Hollywood Palace,” Muddy Waters on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Howlin’ Wolf on the BBC, Freddie King and Lightnin’ Hopkins on the PBS series “Boboquivari,” Albert King and Van Morrison on the PBS Series “Fanfare,” Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Bonnie Raitt, Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter on “Soundstage,” Etta James on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and John Lee Hooker from the Lomax Collection, which has never been broadcast.
Color and Black & white, 120 minutes
Friday, Nov. 21 (7:30 p.m.)
SO THIS IS PARIS (Warner Bros., 1926)
Ernst Lubitsch directed this charming and sophisticated romantic comedy starring Monte Blue as the dull Dr. Giraud and Patsy Ruth Miller as his restless but faithful wife. Their humdrum lives are shaken when they become involved in a flirtation with a husband and wife dance team. All manner of craziness follows, culminating in a Charleston contest set in montage of a Parisienne jazz clubs. Andre Beranger and Lilyan Tashman co-star with Myrna Loy in a supporting role. The New York Times voted “So This is Paris” as one of the ten best films of 1926. Live musical accompaniment for this new print from the Library of Congress’ film preservation lab will be provided by London-based Stephen Horne.
Black & white, 71 minutes
Saturday, Nov. 22 (2:00 p.m.)
SUSANNAH OF THE MOUNTIES (20th Century Fox, 1939)
Iconic child star Shirley Temple stars as Susannah Sheldon, the only survivor of an Indian attack on a wagon train crossing the Canadian frontier. Befriended by Canadian Mountie Angus Montague (Randolph Scott) and his friend, Pat O'Hannegan (J. Farrell MacDonald) who take Susannah under their wing, the orphan makes friends with a chief's son and helps to negotiate peace when the Indian attacks resume after horses are stolen from the railroad camp. William A. Seiter and Walter Lang directed the family drama which also stars Margaret Lockwood and Victor Jory.
Black & white, 79 minutes
Saturday, Nov. 22 (7:30 p.m.)
DARK VICTORY (Warner Bros., 1939)
Bette Davis was Oscar-nominated for her portrayal of Judith Traherne, a wealthy Long Island heiress whose pleasure-seeking lifestyle is put on hold when she begins suffering from headaches and dizzy spells. Dr. Frederick Steele (George Brent) informs Judith that she has a brain tumor that could threaten her life if not treated immediately. Edmund Goulding directed this romantic drama that also features Humphrey Bogart, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Ronald Reagan. The film also received Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best original score for Max Steiner,who was also nominated for scoring “Gone With the Wind” the same year.
Black & white, 104 minutes
Thursday, Dec. 4 (7:30 p.m.)
THE BARKER (Warner Bros., 1928)
Wanting a better life for his son Chris, side show barker Nifty Miller tries to break up the boy’s’ romance with a tough carnival girl and sends him away to law school. George Fitzmaurice directed this Pre-Code romantic drama that stars Milton Sills, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Dorothy Mackaill and Betty Compson. Completed as a silent picture in the summer of 1928, “The Barker” was put back into production in November so that Vitaphone talking sequences could be added one month before the film's New York premiere. Despite the short deadline, the interchange of soundtrack and picture in the part-talking version was unusually sophisticated for 1928. This rare screening of “The Barker” is a recent restoration print, courtesy of UCLA Film and Television Archive. The Vitaphone ragtime jazz musical short “Red Nichols and His Five Pennies” will precede the feature.
Black & white, 80 minute feature, 9 minute short
Friday, Dec. 5 (7:30 p.m.)
UNION DEPOT (Warner Bros., 1932)
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., then one of Warner Bros. top male stars, gives one of his best performances as homeless jailbird Chick Miller in this Pre-Code drama set in a bustling train station. When Chick stumbles upon some lost cash, he helps out stranded and penniless chorus girl Joan Blondell who is being pursued by a sinister man. The tale of criss-crossing fates set in real time brings to mind MGM’s glossier “Grand Hotel,” which beat “Union Depot” to the screen by only three months. Directed by Alfred E. Green, the fast-paced story showcases a number of Warner Bros. contract players including Guy Kibbee, Frank McHugh and Alan Hale. The astoundingly elaborate Union Depot set was used in Warners' films for years to come. The Laurel & Hardy comedy short “Me and My Pal” will precede the feature.
Black & white, 67 minute feature, 20 minute short
Saturday, Dec. 6 (7:30 p.m.)
THE EXILE (Universal, 1947)
Masterful German-born filmmaker Max Ophuls made his American directorial debut with this historical drama, written and produced by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Fairbanks also stars as England's King Charles II, who was exiled to Holland during the period known as the English Commonwealth led by Oliver Cromwell. In this fictional account, Paule Croset plays a young farm girl who captures Charles’ heart, with Maria Montez as a former paramour, the French Countess Anbella. A swashbuckler in the manner of Douglas Fairbanks Sr., here the younger Fairbanks gets to show off some dashing swordplay and acrobatics. In fact, Fairbanks even uses a sword in this film that his father had used in the making of “The Iron Mask” (1929). Also featured in the cast are Henry Daniell, Nigel Bruce and Robert Coote.
Black & white, 95 minutes
Thursday, Dec. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
THE CASTLE (Miramax, 1997)
This delightfully charming Australian comedy was the biggest hit film in 1997 in its native land. After it played at the Sundance Film Festival, Roger Ebert called it “one of those comic treasures like ‘The Full Monty’ that shows its characters in full bloom of glorious eccentricity.” Working-class tow-truck driver and father of four Darryl Kerrigan's only distinguishing feature is his beaming reverence for his home and family. Although his kids appear to be underachievers and his home is located on the edge of a major international airport, his family is his pride and joy and his home is his castle. So when government officials demand that Kerrigan sell his house for an expansion of the airport, he fights back through the legal system- all the way up to the Supreme Court. The Kerrigan’s optimism is inspirational and the family’s belief in themselves and creative spin on what some perceive as negative is both hilarious and touching. Directed by Rob Sitch, it stars Michael Caton, Anne Tenney, and Eric Bana in his screen debut. Rated R for language.
Color, 85 minutes
Friday, Dec. 12 (7:30 p.m.)
THE PALM BEACH STORY (Paramount, 1942)
Preston Sturges wrote and directed this romantic screwball comedy starring Joel McCrea as struggling inventor Tom Jeffers. His wife Gerry (Claudette Colbert), frustrated with their penniless existence, decides to get a divorce and marry a millionaire to get her hands on the cash to finance her future ex-husband's career. Gerry hops a train to Palm Beach where she meets wealthy and eccentric bachelor J.D. Hackensacker III (Rudy Vallée) and later his wacky man-hungry sister (Mary Astor). Pay close attention to the fast-paced prologue during the opening credits which is revisited at the end of the movie. The 1940 Vitaphone musical short “Ozzie Nelson & His Orchestra” will be shown before the feature.
Black & white, 88 minute feature, 9 minute short
Saturday, Dec. 13 (7:30 p.m.)
AMADEUS (Orion, 1984)
In this Academy-Award winning film based on Peter Shaffer's 1979 play, the lives of genius composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Antonio Salieri, the once respected but long-since forgotten court composer of Emperor Joseph II, are the starting point for a highly fictionalized drama of envy and audacity. Directed by Miloš Forman, the lush production stars Tom Hulce as loutish Mozart and F. Murray Abraham as the refined Salieri. Nominated for eleven Academy Awards, it won eight, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay for Peter Shaffer and Best Actor for Abraham. The original soundtrack recording with Mozart’s music performed by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, won a Grammy Award and became one of the best-selling classical albums of all time.
Color, 160 minutes
Thursday, Dec. 18 (7:30 p.m.)
THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (Warner Bros., 1942)
When the acerbic and nationally popular radio personality Sheridan Whiteside slips on the icy front steps of a provincial Ohio businessman's home at Christmastime and ends up in a wheelchair, he and his entourage take over the house indefinitely. Monty Woolley recreates his Broadway role as Whiteside in this delightful adaptation of the George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart play. Bette Davis gives a sympathetic and likeable performance as Whiteside’s assistant Maggie in one of her rare appearances in a comedy. Directed by William Keighley, the film also features Richard Travis, Ann Sheridan, Jimmy Durante and Mary Wickes as Nurse Preen in her hilarious film debut.
Black & white, 112 minutes
Friday, Dec. 19 (7:30 p.m.)
HOLIDAY AFFAIR (RKO, 1949)
Janet Leigh stars in this Christmas gem as war widow Connie Ennis, who lives in a New York apartment with her precocious young son Timmy. While working undercover as a holiday comparison shopper, she inadvertently gets laid-back toy salesman Steve Mason (Robert Mitchum) fired from his job. Though Connie is engaged to a nice respectable lawyer (Wendell Corey), Steve’s appearance in her world shakes up her well-structured life. Don Hartman produced and directed this charming romantic comedy. Gordon Gebert, who charmed critics and audiences alike as Timmy, will make a special appearance for a Q&A after the film.
Black & white, 87 minutes
Saturday, Dec. 20 (2:00 p.m.)
ELF (New Line, 2003)
In this family fantasy, one of Santa’s elves, who is much taller than his colleagues, learns that he is actually a human being and heads off to New York to meet his father – as un-Christmassy a character as ever lived. Will Ferrell is a delight as the elf who has the gift for spreading good cheer, even in a world of cynics. Directed by Jon Favreau, it also stars James Caan, Bob Newhart, Mary Steenburgen, Ed Asner, and Zooey Deschanel.
Color, 97 minutes
Saturday, Dec. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
REMEMBER THE NIGHT (Paramount, 1940)
New York assistant district attorney John Sargent feels sorry for Lee Leander, a cynical shoplifter who Sargent is scheduled to prosecute after the Christmas holidays. He pays her bail and after discovering they are from neighboring Midwest towns, takes her along on his trip back home to Indiana. Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck star in this romantic comedy-drama, with Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson and Sterling Holloway in supporting roles as Sargent’s family. This rediscovered Christmas classic was directed by Mitchell Leisen and written by Preston Sturges. The Library of Congress Film Lab provided the new film print. The cartoon “The Night Before Christmas” starring Tom and Jerry will be shown before the feature.
Black & white feature, 94 minutes. Color cartoon 9 minutes.
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Last Updated: 11/17/2014